I don't really know where to start this post. I haven't posted in so long even blogging seems foreign. This blog was created to document our struggles to parenthood. Then when we adopted our daughter I considered taking it down since we had reached our end goal... But I knew our story wasn't over. The years ticked by and we had a couple opportunities to adopt. The last of witch ended in a loss. After that loss I knew I couldn't adopt again. It was too painful. The wound seems so fresh and watching that baby girl grow via social media reopened the wound over and over again. Since we still wanted to add to our family we turned to fertility treatments once again. Which, if you would've asked me at the beginning of 2015, when we thought we were adopting again, I would've told you were beyond trying that again. For me that ship had sailed and I was not willing to board again. But with the adoption path being too painful to venture down again I knew it was time to try, at least one last time.
So in November 2015 I started BCP for IVF #2, on my daughters 3rd birthday. That cycle ended before egg retrieval. I was understimulated and I knew I could produce more eggs. After some serious consideration I opted not to cycle with that doctor again. Our only other option was to go to a big clinic in the Bay Area of CA. So I called and on Dec 22 we had our consult. I was confident this was our clinic! I hated they were 3+ hrs drive away one way, as I hate traffic and driving in general, but we knew it was a sacrifice we had to make.
IVF #3 started in March 2016. I took BCP and then started stims a few days later. By March 21st, after 10 days of stims, I was ready to trigger and I had my retrieval set for 10 am March 23rd. They retrieved 14 eggs, 9 were mature and 7 fertilized perfectly. By day 3, 5 looked perfect and 2 were growing slow. By day 5 we had 2 almost perfect ones to transfer. 3-5 more were on track to freeze the next day. We transferred these two beautiful blasts on March 28th.
Even the doctor said they were beautiful. I had my first HCG blood draw 9 days later. I was anxious about it, but was pretty sure it had worked because I was feeling so sick. On day 8 post transfer I took a pregnancy test and for the first time ever saw two lines!!
We were over the moon!! I couldn't believe after 12 years TTC and 3 IVF's I was pregnant! First beta at 9 days post transfer was 215 and then two days later 449. I was really sick with OHSS brought on by pregnancy, so I didn't enjoy the news as much as I thought I would. I had gained about 5 lbs in water weight and felt like I looked about 5 months pregnant. I cried a lot from pain. But about 6 weeks in the OHSS started to subside and just normal pregnancy symptoms remained. I was throwing up daily and nauseated all the time. I felt like I had the flu, but all of this was so welcome and appreciated because it meant I was pregnant.
At 6 weeks 5 days I went in for my first ultrasound. I was beyond nervous!!! The RE stuck the probe in and found a sac. He said the sac looked small but the baby had a good strong heartbeat at 126 bpm. Then he looked around and found a second sac!!!! TWINS!!
But the excitement was short lived. He couldn't see a heartbeat at first with Baby B. Then he did find one but it was slow and irregular. Both the baby and the sac measured right on track. But, he didn't even print out a picture for us because he was sure that twin would not survive. Que tears. So he moved back to Baby A and measured some more. The baby was measuring 3-4 days behind where it was supposed to be. He told me not to worry that it was still within range and it was not concerning.
This is the picture we got of Baby A. I looked at it the whole long drive home and cried about both of our little babies having issues.
The next two weeks while we waited for our next scan were long. I was still feeling very sick so I hoped that was a good sign and the babies were growing. We went back on May 9th, the day after Mother's Day, and I felt confident both babies would be good. We had prayed a lot and I fully expected to see a miracle. Unfortunately what we saw was not a miracle. Baby B no longer had a heartbeat and was no longer visible in it's sac. Two weeks earlier it looked just like the above pic of Baby A and this time it looked like this,
This is the only pic I have of both babies. Baby B's sac is viable on the left and part of Baby A is on the right. But in this pic you can get an idea of how small Baby A's sac seems to be compared to Baby B's.
Here is Baby A's heartbeat. And you can see how small the sac was. But at least we head a heartbeat at 180-186 bpm. The NP seemed to be pleased with what she was seeing but I have seen enough ultrasound pics from other ladies and knew that the small sac wasn't a great sign. They released me from my RE's office with well wishes and requests for baby pictures, but all I could do was cry. I cried and cried and cried some more. We had lost one twin for sure and I was feeling uneasy about Baby A's prognosis.
I called my local OB and made and appt for that Thursday, May 12. They didn't do an ultrasound but were able to squeeze me in the next day. I was so nervous about going alone but my DH was confident since I wasn't bleeding or cramping and we had just seen the heartbeat 4 days earlier everything would be fine. I knew I shouldn't have gone alone...
The tech put the probe in and Baby A popped up on the screen. I could immediately tell it was over. No heartbeat. My world shattered in an instant. She looked around and found Baby B as well and nothing had changed there.
I was moved to a little room to wait for the doctor. I texted DH and he came immediately to be with me. I cried while the OB talked and cried the rest of the day. My babies were dead. Game over. There was no going back. I was numb for days. The next Tuesday, May 17, I had a D&C so I wouldn't have to miscarry at home. I couldn't wait around for my body to realize my babies were dead. It felt like it would be like losing them all over again.
The procedure was simple and I woke up without pain. I slept most of the day. My womb felt so empty and strange. I wanted to rip it out of my body. It failed my babies.
It has been 4.5 weeks since we learned about Baby A passing and I wish I could say it was getting easier. But it isn't. I don't cry everyday, all day, so that's good. I can get up and get dressed, so that's good. I still feel empty and lost. Luckily I have Little Miss to keep reminding me I am a mom, and losing the twins doesn't take away that. But it's hard to be the mom she deserves when I am in such grief. It's a daily struggle to put on my best face and take things one step at a time. She talks about the babies all the time. It beaks my heart when she says she will have a little brother and sister. When she tells me it is hard to wait for the babies to come. When she says she has two babies in her tummy and she will share one with me so my uterus won't be empty. I wanted her to be a big sister so badly.
My due date was Dec 14. My kids would've been almost exactly 4 yrs apart, depending on when they came. I would've been in my second trimester officially on Wednesday. A part of me died with these babies. I will never be the same person I was before this loss. I hope this change will be one that is for the better but right now it is hard to tell. I am in such a fog. I have no hope for more kids. I have lost it all. We have technically lost 3 babies in 9 months, with our failed adoption last year. It is more than I can bear. At least right now. I am eternally grateful for my DH!!! He has been AMAZING through all of this. Totally letting me breakdown and then picking up the slack and building me back up. He is my rock. This has really brought us to a new level of love in our relationship.
We do still have two embryos that are a 5AA and 5AB to transfer. I don't know that they will implant and result in a pregnancy let alone a real live baby. And I know I can't handle another loss right now, so we will wait until I am strong enough. My OB told me at my follow up appt on Monday that my hormones are still close to pregnancy levels, so my body still thinks it is 13 weeks pregnant. That made me fell a bit better since I still feel some of them. Once my cycle resumes it will flush them out and I will feel more normal. I am hopeful some of this emotion will flush out with them as well.
I never thought I would be in this place. I really didn't believe we would ever get pregnant, and I foolishly believed if I did there was no way I would lose the baby. I mean come on, it took us 12 years and 3 IVF cycles, that just wouldn't be fair. Well life isn't fair and I know other women who have been trough so much more and still don't get their happy endings.
I was talking to an IF friend the other day about how much this journey is about loss. No matter what stage we are in, we are all learning to cope with loss. Loss of control, loss of privacy, loss of intimacy, loss of our dreams for our family, loss of embryos, loss of faith in our bodies, the list goes on and on. The reoccurring theme of IF is loss. I personally haven't learned how to deal with all of it. I know some women when they are on the other side can say it was all worth it. They can see the loss and see the reason or what it lead them to... I hope to make it to that side. I felt so sure in my faith and hope after Little Miss was born. I felt confident my Heavenly Father had a plan and I was privileged to be able to witness his desires for our family. But now I feel lost. Was this really his plan?? Why would he want any woman to experience this kind of loss? And to feel this kind of pain? Why would I be asked to bear this burden? Why did both of my babies have to die? Why did I see a heartbeat on Monday instead of having lost them both at once and being able to mourn that loss instead of keeping my hope for one alive? Why why why????
I may never have the answers to any of these questions, and this is the space I live in now. I'm going to be honest it is a hard place to be. I'm a dead baby mamma now. It's an exclusive club no one wants to belong to. All I can do is pray that I can find peace in this place and let go of the anger and pain I hold on to. But that will take time. Lots of time...